EE’s 4G launched today in ten cities across the UK and has
received mixed reviews from those testing it, most due to reach, rather than
speed, which appears to be as impressive in some parts as promised.
However, a poll carried out by The
Telegraph suggests that many people won’t bother switching until it becomes
available from all of the network operators. The survey found that out of
almost 6000 people taking part, 50.65% said they would only get 4G when they
can "choose what network" it’s on.
21.34% of people said that they would switch to the new
mobile broadband standard with whoever offers it first, in other words, EE,
whilst 14.71% said they would only switch if 4G is available on the handset
13.3% said they wouldn’t bother at all as 3G download speeds
suit them well enough at the moment.
BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones tested 4G
across cities throughout the UK and found that whilst central London had the
fastest speeds of up to 53.74Mps, these reduced substantially across other
cities such as Manchester and didn’t reach outlying areas such as West London.
EE has been criticised for its price plans for 4G, which
give a mere 500MB for £36 per month; of course, bolt-ons can be purchased or
users can upgrade to the £56 per month package which allows for 8GB of
This is expected to put many consumers off until it becomes
more widely available and a larger range of handsets are on offer. Another
concern is that as the faster data transfer uses more processing power, mobile
will die quickly, making it somewhat useless to have a great connection on
the move unless you carry a charger.
With EE promising coverage to 98% of the population by 2014,
this currently looks unlikely if speeds are fluctuating so much in the initial
roll out cities, with even areas of the flagship city of London failing to
receive a signal at all.